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Information desk archives edit

February 2018

come home toEdit

In the sense of relationships, what does it mean when someone says "I want someone I can come home to."? Does this merit an entry? PseudoSkull (talk) 20:36, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

It means "I want someone to be waiting for me at home." I feel like it's pretty SOP, but maybe not. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:55, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Is this the right way to say handle?Edit

She handled her bat for hitting footballs. (Maybe it should be wield?)

They were handling our own weapons against us. — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 23:14, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

"They were handling our own weapons against us" does not make sense. The other one is more arguable. Equinox 23:20, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
"wield" implies using it for its intended purpose. "handle" is more generic; could mean merely picking it up. 伟思礼 (talk) 05:42, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Is there an adjective for Midas (the mythological king)?Edit

e.g. "a M____ian golden touch". Equinox 07:41, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

  • The term Midean seems to be a thing - but I can't figure out from Googling what it means. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:49, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
The most common seems to be "Midas-like", rarely spelled "Midaslike". "Midasian" is also attested, but mostly from before 1920 or from Indian or non-native speakers after that. (Midian seems to often mean something different (Midian, Midianite), and Midean might be an alt form of it.) - -sche (discuss) 15:27, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
"Midan" just barely meets CFI. Far too rarely to meet CFI, "Midal" and "Midic" and "Midish" can also be found; "Midasine", which seems euphonic, doesn't seem to be used at all. - -sche (discuss) 17:01, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Text reference needed?Edit

As for the word 'human', there is something problematic because the quotation under its adjective meaning No. 2 "To err is human; to forgive is divine."(by Alexander Pope) needs correction. In fact, the correct version is "To err is human; to forgive, divine." So my edited quotation with a Twitter reference was eventually sent and technically accepted.

However, I've found later that the quotation still stays put (; therefore, do I need a text reference for this case?

Fixed. Thanks. —Stephen (Talk) 15:17, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Usage notes at climate change/global warmingEdit

I have added usage notes to global warming and climate change, noting that these are sometimes conflated, especially by laymen. I'm rather apolitical, but I do regard climate scepticism etc. as silly which could cause bias to creep in. So could somebody else check whether they pass NPOV? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:57, 15 February 2018 (UTC)


What is this doing in the appendix if it's already in the namespace as an entry (see pīkake)? PseudoSkull (talk) 04:29, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

It was created by @Victar, and I have no idea why. I have deleted it, as an inappropriate use of the appendix namespace. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:08, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
It was created for testing purposes and added to appendix to not be in the way. --Victar (talk) 23:12, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@Victar Please use Wiktionary:Sandbox or your user page (or any subpage of it) to make test edits. Thanks in advance! PseudoSkull (talk) 03:01, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
@PseudoSkull: *eye-roll* I'm well aware. I needed it to be outside of my sandbox for specific testing purposes. --Victar (talk) 03:05, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
Eye-rolls aren't necessary. You left this for someone else to clean up, and that's not cool. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:24, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
No, I left it for continued testing, which is not an inappropriate usage. The considerate thing would have been to ping me before deleting it. --Victar (talk) 07:12, 28 February 2018 (UTC)


What is the policy on entries for romanisations, for example latin alphabet representations of words written in say Greek or Cyrillic alphabets in whatever languages? Is it allowed to have "see x"-type references so searches using a romanisation query string will succeed? CecilWard (talk) 23:01, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

It is currently not permitted for most languages. If you try searching by romanisation, the entry will still appear in the search results. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:06, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@CecilWard: See Category:Romanizations by language for the languages where romanizations are allowed. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:18, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

IPA / phonetics resourcesEdit

Can anyone here recommend a good introductory phonetics textbook, specifically about IPA? Ideally not just focussed on English pronunciation. Or maybe there are some good online resources around? Thanks! – Jberkel 05:10, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

I'd recommend Peter Ladefoged's A Course in Phonetics. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 07:07, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Depends how deep you want to go. Ladefoged is an in-depth look at how phonetics works; if you just want to be able to spend a few hours and come out being able to transcribe what you hear into IPA, there are some websites that would work better. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:09, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
I found Catford’s A Practical Introduction to Phonetics excellent, and it does a nice job of familiarizing one with pretty much the entirety of the IPA through a series of vocal ‘experiments’; not sure how it compares to Ladefoged. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 07:21, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

What am I?Edit

I really hate change and dislike the modern world and probably would have been better born in the 18th century, if at all. But as it is, I obsess over the stupid 1980s that I was too young to enjoy properly. What am I? Not an archaist (we're not talking about ancient times, and I don't pretentiously use old words -- how art thou, SemperBlotto?); not really a Luddite because my everyday job is developing software, as much as I may hate mobile phones; I thought of throwback, but that doesn't capture it either. Is there an English word for me or are these things still buried in the depths of psychiatry? Equinox 06:16, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

(inb4 someone posts cunt.) Equinox 06:19, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
A chronodysphoric, hehe. Wyang (talk) 06:21, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
A melancholy individual hehe :) Leasnam (talk) 06:23, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
A... ~romantic~ Anglish4699 (talk) 17:56, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Friends' answers: An oldie, weird, a fool, an old soul... Anglish4699 (talk) 18:32, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Does there really have to be a term for this specific constellation of characteristics? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 18:37, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
How about a nostalgic? PseudoSkull (talk) 19:53, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I suspect we're missing a colloquial sense at Luddite, though it may be hard to cite, that is broader than opposition to merely technological change, but to all change. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:25, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Masochistic?Mnemosientje (t · c) 20:57, 3 March 2018 (UTC)


The English definition is somewhat wrong. Fluent and fluency don't just refer to speaking a language. Confer and Fluent and fluency with languages refers to the ability to use the language, which includes in writing and speech. Jclu (talk) 00:01, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

New pagesEdit

Hello, Can you please explain to me how I can add a a word in another language when it is already listed. I want to add some words in ojibwe, but when I try to add them, they already exist as words in another language. How do I add an ojibwe entry also? added by User:Hk5183

The easiest way I know is
  • Go to the existing page and scroll down to the last section of the last language alphabetically before Ojibwe (if there is a ==Translingual== entry, that comes first, next is ==English== if any, and then all other languages using that word are in alphabetical order).
  • Click the 'Edit' link for that section, and when the edit pane opens, scroll to the end of it and add four lines as follows: one blank line, then a line which is only ----, then another blank line, then the new language header, ie ==Ojibwe==; add an edit summary saying "added ==Ojibwe==", check the Preview and then Publish the edit. [subsection edited to mention 1st 3 lines to add --Enginear 04:45, 10 March 2018 (UTC)]
  • Click on the 'Edit' link for the new 'Ojibwe' section, and proceed as if you were on a new page.
(The reason for saving after adding the new language header is so the main part of the edit will show in the edit summary as an edit to ==Ojibwe==, rather than an edit to the other language.) --Enginear 01:36, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Another way to accomplish the first part is to edit the entire page and add the heading, publish and then edit the section.  This way, "added ojibwe" doesn't appear in the other language at all. 伟思礼 (talk) 05:48, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia linksEdit

Is there a policy and/or format for links from Wiktionary to Wikipedia?

For example, I think내가 would benefit by a link to 伟思礼 (talk) 05:39, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

@伟思礼: There is the {{pedia}} template. I have used it on 내가. —suzukaze (tc) 05:46, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Cool!  Thanks for the other edits, too. Gives me a pattern to follow next time I have a similar entry. 伟思礼 (talk) 05:55, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
No problem! —suzukaze (tc) 05:58, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Welcome messageEdit伟思礼#Welcome is valuable information, but it should be offered to people who create an account or login for the first time with a wikipedia account. Before we create entries, instead of after we discover a user page is possible and decide to create one. I would not have discovered it had I not had a reason to add to a talk page. —This unsigned comment was added by 伟思礼 (talkcontribs).

Many wikis have a bot that places it automatically on new users' talk pages. We could consider that, although in nearly all cases (including yours), someone leaves the message as soon as a new editor gets involved in creating content. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:27, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
I try to do it as soon as possible (for good editors only that is), but I've come across users who haven't been welcomed for years sometimes. (I still thank them; it's a formality.) PseudoSkull (talk) 07:29, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

March 2018

Insular script codeEdit

Is Insular script coded as latg or latn? – Gormflaith (talk) 23:54, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

We don't use Insular script here, since all variants of Latin script can be normalised as Latn. See WT:SCRIPTS for the exhaustive list of script codes we include and exclude. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:51, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

that's the wrong directionEdit

About this sentence in English:

"That's the wrong direction."

Is has 395,000 Google results. But isn't it technically a mistake, unless there are exactly two directions to choose?

If I need to go North, but start walking East by mistake, that's not "the" wrong direction, that's "a" wrong direction, right?

It seems it's normal to say that sentence in English even though it's often technically a mistake. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:17, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

It's not a mistake, it's a common construction. Discussion, key point: "You use "the" when the item of discussion has somehow been identified, "a" when it is anonymous." DTLHS (talk) 04:19, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree. "The wrong direction" doesn't necessarily mean "the only wrong direction"; it means "a direction that isn't the right one". —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:14, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I see. Thank you both. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 17:49, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
It does seem illogical. We don't say "that's the bad idea" or "that's the moot point". Why "the" with "wrong" specifically? Equinox 17:51, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. Looking at google books:"That's the wrong", I also find "that's the wrong question", "but that's the wrong way" and the like. Something odd is going on there. Generally, predicates assigning an individual to a class usually use an indefinite article, like "He's a smart guy", not "He's the smart guy". --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:03, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
We should learn from Czech and just stop all this article nonsense, eh? Equinox 18:11, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Apparently the English language is broken. Where can I send a bug report? --Daniel Carrero (talk) 18:34, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
You send a bug report by placing "proscribed" on the word in Wiktionary; done ;). --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:45, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I've grown to like English articles. They need some getting used to, sure. But once I got used to them, I sometimes need them in Czech, and emulate them using certain words or phrases.
I think I saw an article (a journal article, that is :)) reporting that men use definite articles more often than women, or at least that's what a particular study quantitatively found. What that suggests is that the article choice is not so grammatically clear-cut as one might think. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:40, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
At least English doesn't have gendered articles. In Portuguese we have: "the pencil" = "O lápis", "the pen" = "A caneta".
We also use articles for uncountable nouns a lot: "love is in the air" = "O amor está no ar".
And articles for proper nouns: "Daniel is late to the party" = "O Daniel está atrasado para a festa".
So now that I think about it, article usage in English seems simpler/easier than in my mother tongue. Which seems good for English, I guess. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 15:07, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
I suspect that you have to have a choice of options for this construction to work- it would have to be something where one could ask "which one?". There's more to it than that, but I think you have to have that, to start with. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:30, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm speculating, but maybe "the correct / right X" came first (which makes grammatical sense), and this construction transferred to "wrong / incorrect". DTLHS (talk) 18:41, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Here's a wrong direction,the wrong direction at Google Ngram Viewer; at the beginning of the 19th century, the indefinite article held sway.--Dan Polansky (talk) 18:49, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm sure this isn't universal, but when somebody says something like "You're going the wrong direction", I assume they specifically mean the opposite direction. Otherwise I would use, and expect to hear, the negative construction "You're not going in the right direction." --SanctMinimalicen (talk) 14:23, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

One of the jargonEdit

lemming heuristic cannot be attested, and as I researched further it seems to strictly be Wiktionary jargon. It's an RFD-related term. Can someone explain this to me, and the background behind the term, etc. if you know it? Thanks! PseudoSkull (talk) 07:05, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

I think it's Dan Polansky's rewording of lemming logic. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 16:35, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
A "lemming" in RFD jargon is another dictionary; there's a heuristic for or test of includability that in effect says: if other lemmings (dictionaries) have jumped off a certain cliff (included a certain word), perhaps we should, too. It's documented at WT:LEMMING as one of a number of (not all binding, but informative) tests. - -sche (discuss) 17:10, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
@PseudoSkull: The way I see it, it is Wiktionary that is the lemming, not the other dictionaries. A heuristic is a rule or method of procedure that is merely good enough, not guaranteed to yield optimal result. An advantage of a heuristic is that it is computationally or cognitively cheap. A BP discussion is at Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2014/January#Proposal: Use Lemming principle to speed RfDs. I may have confused people by using the word "heuristic". I like the word since it points out to the merely-good-enough + cheap or fast nature, which the word "principle" does not do.
The lemming heuristic says that, in RFD, if a term is in certain dictionaries, it should be kept even if it seems to be a sum of parts. These dictionaries include Merriam-Webster, but exclude WordNet since WordNet has a general tendency to include sum of parts anyway. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:24, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps it would make sense to say both Wiktionary and other dictionaries are lemmings. (I see DCDuring refer to other dictionaries as lemmings, in any case; as in "among the lemmings, only Webster has this".) They are lemmings that we, as a fellow member of the species, must decide whether to follow or not. - -sche (discuss) 16:25, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

Animal commands that are also used more broadlyEdit

I am not proposing to add animal-specific senses to sit or stay or roll over, because the sense used when commanding a dog seems no different from the general use of the verb in the imperative, but should such terms nonetheless be added to Category:English animal commands due to their commonness as animal commands? - -sche (discuss) 17:42, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

I see no reason not to, for the sake of completeness. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:44, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

English name for this hole on the streetEdit

What's the English name for this hole on the street? The 3rd man in the picture is sitting above it. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 10:54, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

It's a storm drain. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:02, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

How can I search only for Spanish words?Edit

I am currently given a list of all the languages which happen to contain a word with the same spelling. As I am looking up a lot of words, having to scroll through to the Spanish section is cumulatively wasting a lot of time. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

You can add incategory:"spanish lemmas" or "spanish lemmas" to the end of your query. —suzukaze (tc) 00:59, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
If you add "#Spanish" (the capitalization has to match) to your search term, it should take you to the Spanish section on the page, if there is one. That is, search for "hay#Spanish" instead of just "hay". Chuck Entz (talk) 09:38, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
You can also click on "Spanish" in the table of contents. Redboywild (talk) 13:44, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
How can I get to the table of contents (where I can then select "Spanish) from the main page ( I can see how to select the Spanish language version of Wiktionary (but I'm an English speaker of course) and also the Index:Spanish, but that doesn't seem to allow me to search it. I want the functionality of adding "#Spanish", as suggested by Chuck Entz above, but without having to type "#Spanish" everytime. Thanks!
I doubt we have any built-in way to do that, but your browser might allow you to set up an address-bar shortcut which will add #Spanish automatically. See User:Equinox/How_to_be_fast#Custom_searches and your browser's documentation. Equinox 02:22, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
If you sign up for an account you can enable the "Tabbed Languages" gadget (language sections will be converted to language tabs) that should send you to Spanish if it was the language of the last tab you viewed. —suzukaze (tc) 04:36, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've enabled the "Tabbed Languages" gadget, but it's not remembering the last language I viewed. I think a better solution would be to add a drop-down box below the "Search Wiktionary" field, in which any user can select the language they want to search. The default can be "All languages". Is anyone reading this capable of making that change? And if not, do you know how I can go about getting this implemented?
No, tabbed languages no longer remember the last language you visited. They used to, but that was changed a while back so that you always go to the English section if there is one and the top of the page otherwise. That makes following links in glosses easier: if I click on [[teach]] in the entry for Irish múin, I want it take me to the English word teach, not the Irish homograph that means "house". —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:29, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Stephen HawkingEdit

αθάνατος.   sarri.greek (talk) 04:51, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Apparently not. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

English transgenderEdit

Is it just me, or it's accented on the first syllable on the audio file? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:03, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

No, but the speaker seems to be trying to put equal stress on both syllables, which doesn't sound natural at all. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:17, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
The audiofile appears to be by @Romanophile. I agree that it sounds very unnatural; perhaps he could reupload it? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:20, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I guess the stress differs depending on the context/person. I usually say tránsgender, but in certain contexts I'll say transgénder. Perhaps it's just idiolectal in my case though... PseudoSkull (talk) 03:44, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I say tránsgénder too (I think. I don't really understand the intricacies of English phonetics). a tránsgénder person; a tránsgéndér wóman. —suzukaze (tc) 03:55, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
The audio clip sounds like the speaker is trying to pronounce a noun meaning "a gender that is trans", not an adjective. DTLHS (talk) 03:59, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I agree the particular clip was odd. I have heard it stressed on all the syllables described above, transgénder, tránsgender, and tránsgénder. Other dictionaries' transcriptions [that I saw] say it's stressed on the second-syllable, but their audio files are not so unanimous. I imagine many factors influence stress placement; someone who often contrasts transgender and cisgender, or often uses/hears trans, might stress the first syllable (as the "important"/"distinguishing" one) or stress both equally. Actually, although other dictionaries likewise say cisgender is also stressed on the second syllable, that (and their audio clips) sounds odd to me... - -sche (discuss) 05:33, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
The actual pronunciation and stress in the audio recording seems fine to me, but something about it seems robotic. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:41, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
Maybe it's a matter of dialect. To me, the audio file sounds fine, perfectly natural. —Stephen (Talk) 15:22, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
To clarify, the audio file that's in the entry now is a different one from what was there when the discussion started. - -sche (discuss) 17:23, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

Linkingto WikipediaEdit

I've seen three different ways of linking to Wikipedia in existing articles. I've seen the box template at the top of the article, in-line parenthetical reference (like this one, and in-line citation under the See Also heading. Are all of these accepted, or is only one of them the proper format? I was operating under the assumption that the box was the proper method until I saw these other ways. --SanctMinimalicen (talk) 14:20, 18 March 2018 (UTC)


What should be done with the many citations pages which are like this one? It's in Category:English citations of undefined terms because all-destroying hasn't been created yet — but it's trivially attestable, and so could be created — but it seems SOP-y and might fail an RFD. I suggest adding a parameter to {{citations}} to allow suppressing the aforementioned category, so that the category can consist only of terms that would get entries if they had enough citations, though I expect opinions might differ on whether it was OK to add the parameter and suppress categorization of an entry without first RFDing it... - -sche (discuss) 05:51, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Or we could just admit that the term exists, and actually create it. Just a suggestion. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:03, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
    Obviously, but see RFD. - -sche (discuss) 22:25, 19 March 2018 (UTC)


Either the audio file is cutting earlier than it should, or it's misnamed, but I'm hearing the first syllable only ("жёст"). --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 11:01, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

"Fade dog", "rot dog"?Edit

In this Pink Panther cartoon episode [1], at about 4 min 30 sec, the disgraced dog is surrounded by signs. What are "fade dog" and "rot dog" supposed to mean? Is it old slang? Equinox 20:05, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

fade does have an adjective sense, although it is marked as archaic. Maybe some contemporary (to the show) uses could be found. DTLHS (talk) 21:04, 20 March 2018 (UTC)


The second audiofile is... interesting. I've never heard this word pronounced with such passion. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:12, 20 March 2018 (UTC)